Mohican State Park encompasses some of the most beautiful scenery in Ohio! Visitors come to Mohican to hike, canoe, camp and have amazing family adventures. Here is my guide of family-friendly things to do in Mohican State Park, Ohio.
Where is Mohican State Park?
Mohican State Park is located approximately 90 miles from Cleveland, Ohio and 75 miles from Columbus. The closest towns are Loudonville and Perrysville, Ohio. If you’re planning to visit Amish Country, Ohio, Mohican State Park would make a great day trip. Mohican State Park is approximately 45 minutes from Berlin, Ohio.
Is there a cost for Mohican State Park?
No, Ohio State Parks are free!
Mohican State Park Trails
Our favorite part of Mohican is the fantastic hiking! There is an abundance of trails, and most are good for families. (Note: our big kids have been hiking since they were toddlers, so they are used to trail safety). Here are some of our favorite Mohican hiking trails, plus what to expect.
Hog Hollow Trail
Hog Hollow Trail is a 2.3-mile one-way trail between the covered bridge and the fire tower. The trail contains a gradual climb. For families, I recommend parking at the covered bridge and hiking the first .5-mile, and then turning around. This area contains lots of bridges and boardwalks and is better suited to kids who aren’t quite ready for steep ascents.
The Hog Hollow Trail is one of my favorite trails at Mohican, but on a rainy day it can quickly get muddy. Plan accordingly.
Lyons Falls Trail
Lyons Falls Trail is one of the most popular trails in the park! This trail contains two waterfalls that are worth a visit if you can handle the two-mile hike.
Local folklore attributes the name of the falls to two local characters, both named Lyons, but unrelated to each other! Paul Lyons was a self-reliant pioneer & a recluse who lived in the area with his milk cow. Legend says that he went looking for his cow on a dark, stormy night and fell over the cliff, falling 80-feet to his death.
The other folktale tells of Thomas Lyons, a renegade known as the ugliest man around! He was ambushed and killed on the old stagecoach route that passed through the forest near the cave. Yikes! Whoever the waterfalls are named after, these are probably not the kind of stories you want to tell your young children while hiking! Ha!
Lyons Falls Trail can be accessed by Parking at the covered bridge or the Pleasant Hill Dam. Make sure to consult a map of Mohican State Park before you set out. If you plan on hiking from the covered bridge to the Dam, this is a climb!! Bring a water bottle and prepare for a leg workout.
Pleasant Hill Trail
The Pleasant Hill Trail is a nice 3/4 mile trail that runs between the covered bridge and the Pleasant Hill Dam. I recommend taking this trail from the Dam to the bridge, because the trail will start going DOWN stairs. If you do the trail in reverse, be prepared to climb up a LOT of stairs.
The Gorge Overlook Trail just reopened for the first time in many years! This difficult-rated trail offers an amazing view of the Clearfork Gorge and features a ladder and a swinging bridge. The Gorge Overlook Trail would be best for those with kids over 6 years of age, or those with toddlers on their back!
More attractions within Mohican State Park
Pleasant Hill Dam
The Pleasant Hill Dam is a modern marvel worth a stop. The Dam was constructed by the US Army Corp of Engineers. It stands 113 ft. tall and is 775 feet long. It’s an earth dam designed for water conservation and flood control in the Muskingum Valley. From this viewpoint in the summer, one would see many boat and jet skis enjoying a no-limit-horsepower lake!
The Pleasant Hill Dam is a beautiful place for leaf-peeping in the fall!
A quick stop for those who want to enjoy the scenery of Mohican without a strenuous hike. The Gorge Overlook is beautiful in all seasons!
The Fire Tower at Mohican State Park
The Fire Tower is one of the most recognizable spots in the Mohican-Memorial State Forest. Constructed in 1934 and standing 80 feet tall, a climb to the top is for adventurers who aren’t afraid of heights! (That’s not me, haha). Do you love fall foliage? The view from the top is spectacular in late October- early November!
The Fire Tower is another reminder that this forest was once in great decay due to erosion. The Civilian Conservation Corp was camped at Mohican in the 1930s and what you see from the Fire Tower (especially the abundance of red and white pines) is a reminder of a bygone era.
The Covered Bridge
The Covered Bridge was built at Mohican in 1969 to replace an iron bridge. This is one of the most recognizable features of Mohican State Park and it’s not just for looks- it’s a working road. While it’s not a historical artifact, it is a pretty spot for photos.
If you’re just making a quick trip to Mohican State Park, the park can be driven through in a short amount of time!
From the Covered Bridge, a drive NE on Park Road 51 takes you to a stop sign near the Group Camp. Follow the signs to Vista Point to enjoy a quiet overview of the Mohican Gorge. A paved trail (maybe .1 mile long), leads to the edge. I found this view to be better in fall than the Gorge Overlook because it contains more deciduous trees, not pines.
Things to do in the Mohican area with kids
Mohican Adventures is the place kids want to go when they are tired of hiking! Mohican Adventures offers go-carts, a ropes course, mini-golf, and canoe rentals. Check their website for packages that make this more affordable for families.
Riverside Playground in Loudonville
The Riverside Playground in Loudonville is fantastic for families with kids of all ages. There is a large toddler play area with baby swings as well as this larger structure with a climbing wall, monkey bars, and a slide. The location is right next to a bridge over the river – so on a summer day, families can watch canoes and kayaks full of travelers meander down the river.
Malabar Farm State Park
Malabar Farm State Park is so close to Mohican, it’s almost like they are sister State Parks. Malabar Farm was the home of author Louis Bromfield and the wedding location of Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall. Malabar Farm also offers great hiking, as well as a visitor center, playground, historic home tour, and a farm. Here is my guide to visiting Malabar Farm State Park with all ages.
Depending on where you stay at Mohican, you’re less than an hour’s drive from some of the best attractions for kids in Amish Country. If your kids are tired of nature, why not try out a petting zoo at Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery, a driving tour of exotic animals at The Farm at Walnut Creek, or some of my other favorite things to do with kids in Amish Country.
Seasonal activities near Mohican State Park
Consider visiting Mohican State Park in all seasons!
Winter brings great skiing at nearby Snow Trails and Christmas lights around Mansfield, Ohio. With proper footwear, this is also a great time for hiking the Lyons Falls Trail and looking for ice formations.
Spring is perfect for seeing spring blooms at Kingwood Center Gardens.
Summer is a great time to bring your kayak and go boating at Pleasant Hill Lake or rent a canoe at Mohican Reservation. (Review: Our favorite kayak for families). If you’re traveling with little kids, you’ll want to try one of these playgrounds in nearby Mansfield, Ohio.
Fall is perfect for fall foliage! Take a drive up to the top of Mt. Jeez at Malabar Farm State Park. When you’re finished, drive the Johnny Appleseed Byway, Wally Road Scenic Byway, or the Amish Country Byway and take in more fall colors.
Places to eat near Mohican State Park
Blackfork Bistro in Loudonville – This casual eatery in downtown Loudonville is a nice spot for a beer and a sandwich.
Wedgewing in Perrysville – We love this diner for its inexpensive breakfast and lunch, as well as home-baked goods to take back to your lodging.
Holmes County has numerous great options- Millersburg would be the closest with places like Bags, Millersburg Brewing, Millersburg Creamery, or La Paloma.
Mansfield is also a short drive away. I highly recommend getting donuts from The Blueberry Patch (and maybe some blueberry wine for the adults). 🙂
The Cabin Restaurant in Mifflin is also a family favorite.
Where to stay near Mohican
The area around Mohican State Park offers a variety of great lodging options for families. Here are some of my best picks for where to stay near Mohican:
Mohican State Park Lodge is conveniently located near many hiking spots and the Pleasant Hill Dam. They also offer an indoor and outdoor pool! The lobby is a gorgeous place to relax with a sunken fireplace and sweeping views over Pleasant Hill Lake.
If your kids want to come back to an indoor waterpark in the evening – check out the Comfort Inn Splash Harbor in nearby Bellville, Ohio.
Looking for more adventures near Mohican State Park? Check out my post with the best hikes in Northeast Ohio!